‘Come brew with us’

Homegrown Public House owner Elaine McMillan and her husband Scott are working with the community to start brewing beer in Florence.

Community support sought for ‘Homegrown’ brewing

Sept. 25, 2019 — Homegrown Public House hosted an informational fundraising event Monday evening for an enthusiastic group of supporters of the popular local restaurant and pub.

The owners of Homegrown, Scott and Elaine McMillan, invited members of the community to come discuss their plans to expand the offerings at the establishment to include beer brewed on the premises.

There was a full house on hand as Elaine thanked the crowd for coming out to show its support. She then explained the different ways interested individuals could financially support the development and operation of what she and Scott hope will become Historic Old Town Florence’s first brewpub.

“Some of the visions that we have for the Homegrown Brewery is that we really want to see the community in here. I want to see you guys coming in and having a good dinner and enjoying some freshly brewed local beer and we also want you to come brew with us,” Elaine said.

The team at Homegrown is working towards having a basic brewing system operating by the beginning of the year, and the opportunity to participate in the beer making process is one of the enticements for local beer aficionados.

“One of the biggest questions we’ve had is the timeline; when are we going to be pouring beer from the taps? We are hoping that will be by Jan. 1,” Elaine said. “It takes time to get all the ducks in a row, but little by little we have been able to accomplish quite a bit in a short period of time. I feel pretty confident that we will be able to launch in January and, if it happens sooner, I am sure you guys will all know about it.”

 The McMillans are not working alone on the brewery project. They have employed Dustin Basurto to oversee the actual making of beer for Homegrown.

Basurto said he is looking forward to creating some basic styles of beers that will hopefully reflect local preferences.

“Initially, we are going to be brewing one barrel at a time, which is about a 31-gallon yield,” he explained. “Our plan is to introduce four styles to begin with, with some seasonals mixed in later.

“We are lucky here, we know what our sales have been on certain styles and we have only Oregon beers, so we are trying to be as local as possible.”

Basurto has previous experience as a brewer having worked at one of the world’s most successful and widely recognized craft breweries.

“I got my professional experience at the Rogue Brewery. I trained with John Meyer, who is one of the most knowledgeable and hardest-working men I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I was there for about two years and I was doing production brewing and John was pretty much dialed in, so I was able to learn a lot from him.”

The specifics of the process that is required to legally brew beer takes some time, but Basurto believes the state agencies involved in the approval and certification process are working towards finalizing the paperwork submitted by Homegrown.

“We have submitted the application to TTB (Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) and we have started working with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, so we are basically going to vertically integrate beer into our business plan and have a beer kitchen or a nano-brewery on site,” Basurto explained. “McMenamins is our model. We just want to brew in-house and sell it in-house. We are not looking at distributing, at least not at this time — we are just going to make some good local beer.”

There are a number of ways that interested individuals can support Homegrown’s brewing efforts as well as opportunities to learn more about brewing.

For a list of the different levels of support, visit the Homegrown Public House website at www.homegrownpublichouse.com.

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